Boston Bruins

Bruins hope to keep Canucks from partying in Hub

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Bruins hope to keep Canucks from partying in Hub

By Danny Picard
CSNNE.com Follow @dannypicard
BOSTON -- @font-face font-family: "Times New Roman";p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; a:link, span.MsoHyperlink color: blue; text-decoration: underline; a:visited, span.MsoHyperlinkFollowed color: purple; text-decoration: underline; table.MsoNormalTable font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; div.Section1 page: Section1; The thought of the Vancouver Canucks hoisting the StanleyCup at the TD Garden on Monday night is sickening to most New Englanders.

But the Cup will be in Boston for Game 6, as Vancouver has a3-2 series lead. The thought of that alone is reason enough for the Bruins tobe determined to force a Game 7 back in Vancouver.

Well, I think we want to be the ones to lift the Cup, saidBrad Marchand on Saturday at TD Garden. We want to fight as hard as we possiblycan to make sure that happens. We know that if thats going to happen, we haveto win next game. So we just have to make sure that we do our best to make thatpossible.

The Bruins will have to use the one-game-at-a-timementality from here on out. But if they do force a Game 7 back in Vancouver,the Bs will have plenty of confidence, knowing that all three of their roadlosses in the series were one-goal games.

We were in every game in Vancouver, said Bruins coachClaude Julien on Saturday. And thats important for us, right now, to knowthat if we can play a little better in our building, and create that Game 7,well be a confident group.

So right now, the smaller picture is the most importantthing. And thats to make sure that we create a Game 7, by playing extremelywell here in our own building. And to look any further than that, would be amistake on our part.

The Bruins realize that they werent the more physical teamin Game 5. But they also know that that wasnt their biggest issue. The biggestissue was offensive production. And the Bs hope that offense shows up for Game6, so that they have one more chance in Vancouver.

Lets not hide behind that fact that they outhit us, and they seemed a littlehungrier, said Julien. Thats where we should have been able to push back.And we didnt do that well enough. Were aware of that, and we certainly wouldlike to have another crack at it.

When you dont score, I think you need to improve on morethan the physical play. Thats an area that I dont think weve done a goodenough job, in Vancouver.

It just didnt seem like we had our energy in Game 5,said Marchand. Everyone seemed a little slow, and our legs just werent going.So we just have to make sure we leave everything on the ice next game, and ifwe go down, we go down fighting.

Danny Picard is on twitter at http:twitter.comDannyPicard.

Marchand stepping up his twitter game to hilarious effect

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Marchand stepping up his twitter game to hilarious effect

BOSTON – It was probably only a matter of time before it happened, but it looks like Boston’s favorite Little Ball of Hate is stepping up his game on social media.

Brad Marchand is known as much for his rabble-rousing and trash-talking on the ice as he is for massive offensive production while serving as Boston’s top scorer in each of the last few seasons. So Marchand has the perfect mixture of good humor and clout as a star NHL player, and that usually combines for a pretty powerful voice on Twitter.

Marchand has been noticeably more active on Twitter in recent days with a wide-ranging group of tweets, and the big winner is the hockey fan that gets a little more exposure to some classic Nose Face Killah wit. Some of the tweets have been as a Bruins team leader where he’s praising the talented young crop of B’s prospects that he’s watching during training camp:

Some have been about chirping the NHL for their decision to skip the Olympics this winter where Marchand most certainly would have been primed for a chance at a Gold Medal:

Some have been engaging with “fans” and dropping classic pop culture references from children’s books while showing the nasty edge that routinely drives opponents up a wall:

The Charlotte’s Web reference is a devastating classic from Marchand, a noted longtime fan of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Sometimes it’s just telling a quick story in a tweet that gives you an inside look at the kind of chirping that goes on when Marchand is on the ice:

A social media platform like Twitter was made for a personality like Marchand, and a stepped-up presence is good for him and good for hockey fans. So why all of a sudden is No. 63 tweeting with greater frequency over the last few days?

It sounds like it’s a combination of training camp boredom and a genuine interest in amplifying his voice on all manner of subjects.

“I’ve just been kind of lying around with nothing to do and I jumped on [twitter]…thought it was kind of funny,” said Marchand. “I thought I’d get a little more involved. I don’t know if I’m going to have enough time to do it every day, but it’s fun.”

As fun as it’s been for Marchand, it’s no doubt even more fun for the fans that might get a chance to interact with him even if it’s as the unwitting foil for one of his well-placed chirps. 

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Cassidy: Khudobin 'has a leg up' on backup competition in Bruins camp

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Cassidy: Khudobin 'has a leg up' on backup competition in Bruins camp

BOSTON – Fresh off a strong performance allowing just a single goal on 31 shots in his preseason debut, Tuukka Rask looked close to the top of his game and exactly where he needs to be with the regular season a couple of weeks away. Nearly as important as Rask’s state as the regular season nears, the Bruins coaching staff has been keeping a keen eye through camp on the all-important backup goaltender position as well. 

It’s important that the Bruins have a quality backup goalie in place as they hope to start Rask in just 55-60 games this season, and manage the slender puck-stopper in a way where they can get the best out of him from beginning to end. Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy indicated Anton Khudobin has the inside track on the backup job after finding his groove in the second half of last season, and it would appear he’s well on his way to retaining his job with a Malcolm Subban/Zane McIntyre tandem in Providence.

“Tuukka looks good, and looks good in practice and healthy. So that’s reassuring,” said Cassidy. “[Anton Khudobin] I thought played very well in his game. He had the one unfortunate goal, but I thought he was rock-solid the rest of the game. He’s in very good shape and he’s practiced well, so he’s got a leg up on the other [goalies] based on his experience.

“We know that going in, but he’s going to get pushed. Zane [McIntyre] was good in a game, and Malcolm let in a couple where he could have been more aggressive. But it was a first game, so right now they all look good. That’s a good problem to have if they all push each other, but to get direct to the point Anton has done nothing to lose that backup spot.”

At this point, it would likely be McIntyre rather than Subban that would challenge for the NHL backup job if Khudobin did stumble at all in training camp or early in the regular season as he did last year. There will be no backup controversy, however, if the 31-year-old plays like he did in stopping 20-of-22 shots in Tuesday night’s win vs. the Red Wings or as he did going 6-1-0 with a .922 save percentage after the All-Star break last season.  

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